ShotSpotter is a "Gunfire Detection" technology that utilizes acoustic sensors, or microphones, that are placed in a designated area of deployment. The sensors are placed specifically on light poles, public buildings, or telephone poles. Once the sensors detect gunfire, this then begins the process of notifying the Durham Police Department. For more specifics on how the technology works in general, view the video in the "How Does ShotSpotter Work?" tab.
No. ShotSpotter is an acoustic-based system. While it may be integrated with video systems, the Durham Police Department nor the City of Durham will utilize ShotSpotter with cameras or similar devices.
Per the ShotSpotter website, the system is highly accurate at detecting outdoor gunshots. In 2019 the system had a 97% aggregate accuracy rate across all of ShotsSpotter customers including a very small false positive rate of less than 0.5% of all reported gunfire incidents. You can read the results of an independent audit by Edgeworth Analytics here
The Durham Police Department will also be partnering with Duke University to study the efficacy of the technology by studying the deployment area and an area of the city of similar size with similar call volume that does not deploy ShotSpotter. The Durham Police Department intends to regularly update this webpage with data regarding the department's usage.
This map of the coverage area depicts the ShotSpotter coverage area which includes a 3 square mile area in east and southeast Durham covered by Police Districts 1 and 4. DPD staff are in the process of reaching out to PAC groups and other community stakeholders in the affected areas in order to answer questions and address community concerns. Those meeting dates and locations will be added to this webpage as they are confirmed.
The current projected implementation of ShotSpotter is expected to occur in September 2022. This timeline is subject to change as the project develops.
The ShotSpotter pilot program was approved as part of the City of Durham’s fiscal year 2022-2023 budget. The pilot program will run for 12 months with the first 3 months being free to the City of Durham. The remaining 9 months will cost $197,500.
DPD’s Professional Standards Division is currently in the process of creating a policy that will govern DPD officers’ response to ShotSpotter activations. As a part of this process, DPD has reviewed policies from other jurisdictions where ShotSpotter has been implemented in order to assist in determining best practices.